CELTIC will continue to monitor Owen Beck as the Liverpool defender resumes his loan at Dundee for the remainder of the season.
The Welsh Under-21 star played in the Taysiders’ 3-2 loss against Hearts at Dens Park yesterday – just hours after the champions’ disappointing 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Alexandro Bernabei took over the No.3 role in place of the injured Greg Taylor and a disastrous pass from the Argentine presented the hosts with a breakaway opportunity that saw Bojan Miovski score to put his team ahead five minutes after the turnaround.
The South American was removed from the action shortly afterwards with right-sided Anthony Ralston taking his place.
It required a first goal for the club from £3million new Bhoy Nicolas Kuhn to rescue a point for the visitors.
NOW YOU SEE ME…Owen Beck in his cameo appearance for Liverpool in their 4-0 win at Bournemouth a fortnight ago – an outing that scuppered Celtic interest.
Rodgers failed to land one of his three left-back targets in the January window – Manchester City’s Sergio Gomez, Wolves’ Hugo Bueno and Leicester City’s Luke Thomas – and must rue the fact any chance he had of landing Beck had been scuppered when the youngster came on as an 83rd minute in his team’s 4-0 win at Bournemouth a fortnight ago.
Beck had been recalled to Anfield when the Merseysiders suffered a double setback with regular No.3, Scotland captain Andy Robertson, and his Greek back-up Kostas Tsimikas were both sidelined with shoulder injuries.
As soon as the 21-year-old back-four operator stepped onto the field to replace Conor Bradley with Jurgen Klopp’s side already three goals ahead, Celtic’s interest ended.
There had been speculation right up to kick-off that the Hoops were considering a permanent bid for Beck.
Under FIFA regulations, no player can make an appearance for three clubs in one season.
PICK IT OUT…Greg Taylor slams in Celtic’s final goal in the 3-0 win over St Mirren in Paisley on January 2.
Rodgers’ need to bring in a dependable No.3 will now have to be shelved until the summer when Beck is bound to come back into focus.
Bernabei, a £3.75million buy from Argentinian top-flight outfit Lanus in the summer of 2022, is not the answer and is likely to be offloaded at the end of the season.
Just before his return to Dundee after earlier speculation linking him with Celtic, Beck said: “People speak about interest from other clubs, but I try to focus on the club I’m playing for.
“That’s not really my job to listen to who is interested in me. I was happy at Liverpool, but when the opportunity to come back to Dundee was there it was a no-brainer.
“It’s nice if teams are interested in you, it’s a positive thing.”
Wrexham-born Beck is under contract at Liverpool until June 2026 and it will take a sizeable fee to bring him to Glasgow.
UNDER PRESSURE…Alexandro Bernabei in action against the Dons.
A further complication could be Klopp’s departure from Anfield in the summer. His replacement may not be inclined to either a temporary or permanent switch for the up-and-coming youngster.
In the meantime, Rodgers will be hoping for a speedy recovery from Taylor who had been an ever-present until he missed the 1-0 win over Ross County last weekend.
The Hoops gaffer now has a problem to solve before the team’s encounter with Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday and the Scottish Cup fifth round match against St Mirren in Paisley a week today.